Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What happened in ‘82?


This is from the report on “affordable housing” that’s to be presented at tonight’s council meeting. (Pg 10, fig 1) It’s a graph of how much money people make (personal income) in this county over the years and compared to the average of the nation (United States) and the state (California.)

According to this, the rest of the state has done pretty well over the years. One of the more prosperous places in the nation. (Many lucrative industries, Hollywood, aerospace, silicon valley, etc). So what went wrong with San Joaquin country?

And in particular, what happened in 1982? SJ was more or less about as wealthy as the nation as a whole, just a little less than California as a whole. But according to this chart, the bottom fell out in the early ‘80’s. You can see the red line (San Joaquin) diverge from the national average about then, and the “gap” in poverty increases.

So what went wrong? Did people suddenly get stupid? Prop 13? Williamson act? The ascendency of “central planning?” State takeover of school funding? Ronald Reagan? (no, the nation prospered under Reagan). Then what was it? Maybe someone should ask the expert tonight.

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